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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  February 28, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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impossible bar in ways big and small every day. it's no surprise then that between this double bind and the crappy deal we're getting at work, women are starting to pull back from the workforce. the percentage of stay-at-home moms wanting to work full time is declining and fewer married moms with young children are in the labor force today. with employers like marisa mayer can you really blame them? she demoralizes her employees by saying we don't trust you so we have to see you at your desk with our own eyes. sandberg chides us for not leaning in, giving us a whole new laundry list of areas where we need to improve and adds attending lean-in circles to our to-do list. by the way, i wrote most of this rant from home after putting my daughter to bed before coming back to the studio. so how is that for productive.
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>> crystal, we salute you for doing both so well. it's thursday, february 28th, and john boehner doesn't to negotiate with anyone. or so he thinks. ♪ >> rise up, o god, and save us from ourselves. >> senator obama or president obama and senate democrats are demanding more tax hikes. >> this is going to be a big hit on the economy. >> didn't john boehner say he wasn't going to do that anymore. >> revenue issue is now closed. gee said he wasn't going to sit down and negotiate. >> it was said very clearly you will regret doing this. >> our lives are in danger. >> it looks to me like woodward hyped that claim. >> it's not even noon on thursday and the house is going home. >> i think it was winston churchill who said americans always do the right thing after they've exhausted every other possibility and we're getting to the point where we've now
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exhausted every other possibility. >> what a country. ♪ add it up, add it up ♪ you got to add it up >> it is another busy thursday with developing stories here at home and around the world. the papacy is now formally vacant and we'll bring you the latest on pope benedict's dramatic farewell and the election of his successor. also close to vatican city, john kerry meet with the syrian opposition in rome pledging $60 million in basic assistance, the first american aid to the syrian opposition. and at long last, the house today passed the senate's expanded version of the violence against women act ending 18 months of standoff. every democrat voted for it. 138 republicans somehow had a problem with it. we'll have more on that just ahead. but we begin with the president and congressional leaders set to huddle at the white house tomorrow.
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the very day that automatic defense and domestic cuts will kick in and still without any solution to the so-called sequester. both democrats and republicans in the senate staged votes to replace the cuts to no avail. but there was plenty of time for republicans to preview their talking points presumably in preparation to toss them at the president tomorrow. >> and how much more money do we want to steal from the american people to fund more government? i'm for no more. >> did the fa a shut down in 2009? that's the claim. that's the claim that the president is saying. shut down the faa, stop air travel as we know it or give us higher taxes. >> despite those efforts at minimizing, the white house says there is no way to cut $85 billion over the next seven months without drastically affecting national security and the entire economy. and it would seem florida's
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republican governor rick scott actually agrees writing to the president, he says, quote, the impacts on florida's military installations and defense industries will be severe under sequestration. our immediate concerns include dramatic reductions to our national guard, which threatens our ability to respond to wildfires this spring and hurricanes this summer. oh, do they need federal funds to do that? what a handy reminder. governor scott, of course, blamed the president for the sequestration process. by the way, the day before the sequester hits, the house of representatives has taken a long weekend and gone on recess until monday. nice work if you can get it. let's get right to nbc's kristin welker who is at the white house. kristin, the sequester, as you and i know, is just hours away, and so is the president's meeting with congressional leaders tomorrow, is this about the sequester or do you think now that we're going to actually
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enter this period that the president may be minded to broaden the discussion, perhaps resurrecting the idea of a grand bargain from 2011? >> reporter: if you look at the plan that president obama has put forward, it is consistent with the idea of a grand bargain, so i think it is certainly likely that the president will re-engage in those talks, but white house officials say that tomorrow really will start off at least focusing on how to turn off the sequester, those $85 billion across the board spending cuts that are going to go into effect on march 1st, which, of course, is tomorrow. how to cut them off because, of course, there is so much concern about the potential impact on the economy and jobs as well. but the question is how is that going to happen? what is going to force lawmakers' hands, the president's hands to come together to get a solution on this? and the answer is there really isn't a whole lot. public frustration one thing. it is expected to mount in the coming weeks, and then, of
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course, at the end of march you have that continuing resolution which is, of course, the government funding bill which the president and lawmakers will have to contend with at the end of march and it's thought that is the point at which they will actually have to deal with the sequester. >> we can hardly wait for that, kristin. on another note, we've just got word in this afternoon that the white house will urge the u.s. supreme court to allow gay marriage in california. what can you tell us about that development? >> reporter: right. the obama administration announcing that it is going to file a friend of the court brief on behalf of the same-sex couple at the center of the prop 8 case with the supreme court. this is significant, martin, because when president obama came out and said that he supported same-sex marriage, you might remember that he also said he thought that it wasn't a matter for the federal government to handle. this essentially represents a shift, suggests that he believes that the federal government should be involved in this to
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some extent. so that is why this is really significant. in terms of timing, the supreme court hears these cases in late march so you can expect them to hear the case in late march and then decide likely sometime over the summer. >> nbc's kristin welker, thank you as always. -let's get to our panel. lehigh university professor james peterson is a krnter for and an msnbc contributor and jared bernstein is senior fellow at the center of budget and policy priorities. speaker john boehner says, and i'm quoting him, the revenue issue is now closed. jared, given that the president has already given a 2 to 1 ratio in terms of cuts to revenues, if anything should be closed, it's any further cuts, isn't it? >> exactly. the spending cuts thus far amount to $1.5 trillion over ten years and the tax increases $600 billion.
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so that's larger than a ratio of $2 of cuts to $1 of tax increases. and you're getting right to the heart of something that perhaps we don't quite focus on enough, which is why the heck are we stuck here? and the answer is that -- >> please, tell us. >> the answer is that republicans refuse to give on revenues. the president's plan that kristin was just referring to, that offers significant cuts, and not just cuts in discretionary spending of the type that the sequester has, but cuts in entitlements, the thing that -- kind of the holy grail for a lot of republicans and outside of many democrats' comfort zone. so his plan is balanced. but the republicans say been there, done that in terms of tax increases. your point is exactly right. democrats, if they wanted to be just as gridlocky, they could say been there, done that in terms of spending cuts. >> exactly. professor peterson, we heard eric cantor just now in his
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magnificent voice mocking claims that there will be travel delays and other impacts from the sequester, and boehner's claim that this is an effort to, quote, steal more money for government. professor peterson, what do you make of that rhetoric? >> that language is extremely offensive, martin. to refer to an increase in revenue is collecting greater percentage of taxes for those who are the wealthiest americans in this nation is -- that's a striking statement to me, and it doesn't make any sense. look at the ways in which the income gap in this country has expanded over the last 20 years. look at the pays of ceos and the top 1%, top 2% increase. look at their capital gains tax. look at the resources of this country flowing upwards to the top 1% and 2% and to suggest by asking them to contribute more through their taxes to the challenges that this country faces right now after they've benefited for decades from this nation and from their businesses being operated in this nation is
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not only absurd, it's quite offensive. >> i want to say a word about that, martin, kind of amplify some of the points james is making. the word steal there just really caught my ear as i think it did yours. remember, this country began with the actual tea party who made an argument that, in fact, since it was taxation without representation -- >> yes. >> -- the british were, in fact, stealing from us. i think that is an argument that resonated with some of our first citizens and it should have. but what you heard there was as if the republican contemporary tea party is a separate nation. we're not in this together. taxes raised as a country through our constitution is stealing? i mean, this goes beyond the pale. >> it's absurd. >> jared, moving onto this subject of rhetoric, the notion that white house adviser jean spurling threatened reporter bob woodward continues to unravel. we have the e-mail from mr. spurling which reads and i will
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quote it to you in all its gory details, jared. i do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying that potus asking for revenues is moving the goalpost. i know you may not believe this, but as a friend, i think you will regret staking out that claim. jared, you know the man. does that sound like adviser speak for a knife to the throat? a bloodied threat that's coming his way? >> look, this incident that -- first of all, gene's comment was obviously a substantive comment very much in the spirit of the ones i have been making so far today. so, you know, if you want to come after gene woodward, come after me first. but putting that aside, this is just amplifying washington insanity through the washington insanity ray which seems to be taking this town over, and i don't quite get bob woodward in this context who i always thought of as a fairly
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substantive guy. this is just -- >> he is. >> -- taking a crazy situation and making it beyond crazy. >> i'm reminded of the british parliamentarian who when he was attacked by the british secretary jeffrey howell described it as the equivalent of being ravaged by a dead sheep. thank you both for joining us this afternoon. next, chief justice john roberts and his 30-year crusade against the voting rights act. stay with us. >> to hear voting rights referred to as a racial entitlement, how do you react to that? what were you thinking? >> it is just appalling to me. it is an affront to all that people died for, that people bled for, and those of us who marched across a bridge 48 years ago. we didn't march for some racial entitlement. everyone's retirement dream is different;
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is it possible that this country's most revered civil rights law is now in jeopardy? judging by the statements of supreme court justices yesterday, that would seem to be the case. justice scalia sounding more like donald trump than one of the nation's top jurists said that extending the law amounts to perpetuation of racial entitlement. justice kennedy was more diplomatic making the point that the marshall plan, like the voting rights act, in his view was also a good idea at the time but now times have changed. justice clarence thomas maintained his usual silence, but, of course, has made it clear he, too, would like to undo section five of the voting
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rights act. but the ringleader in this plot is actually chief justice john roberts, and he's been at it for a long time. as a young lawyer in the justice department, he was deeply involved in the reagan administration's efforts to neuter the law, and while those efforts may have failed back then, roberts may yet have his way come june of this year. joining us now is representative james clyburn, democrat of south carolina. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon, martin. thank you so much for having me. >> it's a great privilege for us to have you, sir. there's new reporting today in "mother jones" magazine, it documents the long war that john roberts has been waging against the voting rights act. it described him, and i'm quoting, as a major player in ronald reagan's attempts to disable the law. fast forward 30 years, congressman, and this man is the chief justice of the united states. i have to ask you, is he on the verge of killing this law outright? >> well, martin, i would hope
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not. i happen to have been pretty active at the state government level back at the time when chief justice roberts was working for the reagan administration. i remember very much their efforts trying to get rid of the office of federal contracts and compliance. we fought them then. we were able to demonstrate with the record that those programs were very much needed and, of course, ofccp was the federal agency working on affirmative action stuff. so justice roberts was against it then, and i would suspect he's still against it now. >> but congressman, you may remember what the chief justice said during his confirmation hearings back in 2005. just take a listen to this, sir. >> judges are like umpires.
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umpires don't make the rules. they apply them. mr. chairman, i come before the committee with no agenda. i have no agenda. >> congressman, in light of what you just said, this man appeared before your colleagues in congress and told you he had no agenda. isn't it now clear that he wasn't telling the truth? because the agenda that he tried to execute during the reagan administration is now bearing fruit and could well bear fruit come june this year. >> it could. and the fact of the matter is i would not say he has an agenda until he shows me that he has one. i heard some of the questioning yesterday. i sat in that courtroom for about 45 minutes before having to leave for the rosa parks ceremony, and i was very, very concerned by what i heard. now, at the time i was there, i heard nothing from him. but i did hear from a few of the
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others, and i'm concern ed that there is going to be ap attempt to water down the voting rights act of 1965, and all i would say to these justices, please look at the record. if you look at the record and make your decisions based upon the record that's before you, then i'm not going to have a problem. but if you are bringing a set agenda to this process, there's going to be a problem for us because i know what he said in the past. >> you say that, sir, that you didn't hear justice roberts, but what about justice scalia? yesterday he suggested, and i'm quoting him, that the right to vote is, quote, a racial entitlement, and he also suggested that lawmakers like you, sir, can't be trusted to make decisions about the voting rights law. in fact, in a discussion about the four previous votes congress took to renew it, justice scalia
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said he was concerned that this is not the kind of question that you can leave to congress. i have to ask you, if justice scalia thinks he can do your job better than you can, then why doesn't he resign from the supreme court and run for congress? >> well, you know, i heard all those things yesterday, and i am absolutely befuddled by what justice scalia had to say. if chief justice roberts is correct and the court is supposed to be a referee and those nine justices are referees, then what are they supposed to referee? they are supposed to referee legislative action. they're supposed to look at what we've done and decide based upon the record in front of them. they are not supposed to be legislating from the bench, and here is mr. scalia indicating that it's his job to legislate
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on these issues and kongs' job, i guess, is to stand here as bystanders. i don't understand that at all. >> and so in light of that, sir, do you really think that justice scalia should remain in the supreme court? >> well, you know, i believe that the supreme court being a lifetime appointment is, in fact, a lifetime appointment. i would only ask justice scalia in spite of what he may feel, i used to run a quasijudicial agency, and there were times when i just knew, just felt strongly about certain things, but i had to enforce the law as the law was made by the united states congress, and i enforced it. many times against what my emotions may have been. i would hope that justice scalia would allow his emotions to stay out of making a decision based
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upon the record that the congress developed. we passed the renewal of the voting rights act based upon a very extensive record, and if the justice scalia and others will look at that record or even just look at shelby county's record, then i really believe that i would be very comfortable with their decision, but if they are going to get outside of the box, not be referees, and be legislators, then that's a different question. so i'm not going to pass any judgment on whether or not he should be or not be on the supreme court. i really wish he would be an independent voice refereeing rather than legislate at thissing. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me. coming up, 138 republican house members say no to the violence against women act. however, it still passes, and
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the pope emeritus is now at his summer residents after bidding a fond farewell to his cardinals earlier today. he boarded a helicopter after becoming first pope in six centuries to abdicate. nbc's kia simmons is live in rome. the papacy is now formally vacant, and given that we're currently in lent, do you expect a new pope to be elected in time for the easter liturgy? >> reporter: well, i think that many people will be hoping that's the case, but i'm told that they don't need to hurry by the vatican's spokesperson.
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the conclave is likely to be announced next week, and they may want to take their time. just to fill you in, martin, the pope is -- the former pope is now at the summer residence. he's likely -- it's pretty nice, frankly. he's likely to spend a few months there. it's a quiet place. it's a place he can reflect after the turmoil of the last few weeks. then in a few months' time he's going to come back and live inside the walls of the vatican in a former nunnery. so in terms of how he'll be living, he said he plans to live a private life, but it seems unlikely that he won't have influence as the church begins to decide who should follow him. >> and yet keir, the pope emir tus has pledged his loyalty to whoever succeeds him. given he's appointed to many within the college of cardinals, is it safe to assume that his successor is likely to be as conservative theologically as pope benedict has been himself?
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>> reporter: i think that's pretty safe to assume, but on the other hand, his reresignation many people think was a challenge to the church, a throwing down of the gauntlet, if you like. and there's wide agreement, if nothing else within the church, that what they need to find is somebody who can lead this ancient organization and at the same time speak to the modern world. that's a pretty difficult person to find. some are saying they need to look outside europe to find somebody who can really make that break-through. catholicism has been growing so much in other parts of the world. on the other hand, perhaps someone from europe will be a safe pair of hands in these difficult times. >> nbc keir simmons live in roam. thanks. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. i'm here at my house on thanksgiving day,
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from the dope man and more sequester theatrics to mr. hannity's poe puce. here are today's top lines. oh, the places you will go. >> it will be chaos! >> what a country. >> they have mansions, mercedes. you don't put down occupation cocaine dealer. on paper they don't make any money so the government sends them food stamps. that's all over the place down on the border. >> what does the future hold for the former mr. pope. you can't set him up as an ex-pope as a walmart greeter. >> we elect a president to lead. >> this is not a cliff, but it is a tumble downward. >> how much more money do we want to steal from the american people to fund more government? this was about his convenience. >> i think it was winston churchill who once said americans always do the right thing after they have exhausted every other possibility. >> you're going to regret this. it's mickey mouse. >> one of the most thin-skinned white houses. >> may be able to push around lap dog media types but i don't
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think they will be able to do it to bob woodward. >> it looks to me he hyped that claim. >> the excuse that it's too politically risky. >> that was the last i saw of jesse as he ducked around the corner. >> is no longer acceptable. >> we're not preventing anybody from voting. >> we've come too far. we still need section five. >> voting rights referred to as a racial entitlement. >> it was unreal, unbelievable, almost shocking. >> word of the day, do not be effete. >> i was going to say this person is effete. >> i tried to give the congressman a fair shake last night. i was called a few names. >> i do have to give michelle obama an immense amount of credit. this woman who is so privileged and has been her entire life is able to connect with mainstream culture. >> i won't dance publicly. >> she's on the order of a marie antoinette. >> i'm sorry, if there's one
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thing michelle obama would never say, it's let them eat cake. we have with us lily val gillett that and dana milbank. lily, let's start with the violence against women act. it's finally become law once again after 18 months of standoff. can you explain to us why a majority of republicans would vote against it? >> i wish i had an answer for that and i guess the optimist in me just goes back to saying, yeah, we got it passed, and it shows that when we want, there are things that can get done. and i got to give credit to speaker boehner because for the third time he has put on the floor a bill that his majority wasn't supporting and it got passed. it's showing me maybe there is hope with the tax reductions -- >> we're talking about 138 republican voptes against an ac who will protect women who are the subject of domestic violence in the thousands, tens of
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thousands, every month. >> exactly. but there's about 30 million of now all the women that are included in the revision of the act that will benefit potentially from this, and i guess it's just showing that that denial of the need to change to the reach hispanics and women, they lost by 11 points to president obama in the last election and unless things like this show some action, it's going to continue to be a gap. >> absolutely. >> dana, this is what eric cantor reportedly told his caucus yesterday. i'm quoting. in a closed door conference meeting on wednesday, cantor told one gop member if they blocked the act from coming to the floor, they would cause civil war in the ranks. today, however, cantor voted against that version. i mean, what happened? did eric cantor discover mitt romney's five-headed monkey god which enabled him to hold simultaneously different positions in time. >> there's a profile in courage for you.
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he wants to make sure other people don't do that so he can vote against it. this has been a difficult thing for the house republican caucus. they wanted to come up with an alternative that was a dramatically watered down, scaled back version of the violence against women act, but to the embarrassment of the republican leadership, they found out they couldn't even get the votes for the scaled down version of it. so they had to come back and say, fine, we'll work with the democrats and do this and brave souls like eric cantor realized it was going to pass anyway so they could get right with their base and vote against it and have that in the right column for the people who do the voter score cards. >> they do that, but, lily, is this the way to appeal to women after we'd had a presidential campaign where so many republicans said the most repugnant things about women like suggesting that rape was something that women could somehow shut off in terms of conception as a result and, as you referred earlier to the president winning women by 11%.
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what are they doing by a vote like this? i just don't understand it. >> i am equally confused. i don't know who is running the strategy and the planning for the party so that they can win in 2016 because this is clearly not a way to do it. you have women representatives with the republican party in the senate and they have a chance to show, yes, we mean business, we mean that we have a change of heart and have smelled the coffee. you missed that opportunity yet one more time. >> dana, this is the third time this year that democrats and a republican minority join together to pass a bill as lily was just saying. the violence against women act now joins the supplemental bill for hurricane sandy relief as well as a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff and raise taxes. is there such a thing as a house majority anymore? seriously. >> this is a card that john boehner can play a few times if he does it to much more often than this, he's not going to be
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speaker for very much longer. there's a long standing custom in the house you don't bring a bill to the house unless it has the majority support of your caucus. in each of these cases, the leadership would have been humiliated and the republican party would have looked awful. so he went ahead and did this and took the risk of doing this. the speaker's problem, and you have to have some sympathy for him even if he keeps saying things like stealing and getting off their derrieres, is he can't control this caucus of his. he's got the toughest job in washington. once in a while he's actually going to walk over to nancy pelosi and say i need your help on getting this bill through. i wouldn't expect him to do it very soon or you will have a speaker cantor on your hands. >> i think reading between the lines what you see is the fragmentation within the party which is very concerning when you have extremes or moderate republicans that maybe want to play ball with the other side and actually do what's right for americans. they are looked at as weak when really they're strong. and speaker boehner i think is
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an example doing it three times. maybe three times is a charm or not or a strike. but we'll see. >> we will. >> lili gil valletta and dana milba milbank. come on, kids, forget about your barbie dolls let's shoot some zombies and get hooked on an ar-15. seriously. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is the opposite of subliminal advertising... there's no subtext... just tacos. yeah, it's our job to make you want it. but honestly... it's not that hard. old el paso. when you gotta have mexican. that nasty odor coming from your washer. say farewell to the smell with tide washing machine cleaner. it goes straight to the source of the stink to lift odor-causing residues off your washer's drum. not or a strike. tide washing . people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain.
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chris christie doesn't seem too bothered that conservatives at cpac chose not to invite him. op wednesday new jersey's governor reminded organizers of the annual convention just who the most popular republican in the nation really is. >> it's not like i'm lacking for invitations to speak both here and around the country. it's not like i have a whole lot of openings in my schedule, and the fact is if any organization doesn't want to invite me to
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come and speak, that's their prerogative. >> of course, this conservative contratemp represents a larger battle within the gop, one between the pragmatism of a popular republican governor and the ideological purity of their last two losing presidential candidates. joining us is josh barrow, a columnist for the bloomberg view and conservative columnist katie keifer, welcome to you both. katie, you are on a panel i believe at cpac. however, we notice that your picture on the website is in the middle of two other speakers, the nra's david keene and wayne lapierre. there is the image. so, katie, are you telling me that the future of conservatism is best represented by these two men but not by chris christie? >> well, i think that there's some truth to the fact that conservatives are attracted to people that stick to their guns and both palin and lapierre are
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people who, no pun intended i guess, but they both stick to their guns. and christie is someone who i always admired. however, i think that currently right now he has a bit of a branding problem, so, for example, let's say taylor swift were to become a rapper, she would probably lose a great deal of her base and she would have a hard time making friends in nashville. and i think that might be something similar to what's going on with christie, so a lot of conservatives felt very strongly and passionately for him but because of some of the decisions he's made recently with regard to spending and voting for some pork, they're seeing him a little bit differently now and he has more of a branding problem i would say. >> right. okay. josh, you come to the conclusion in your latest piece for bloomberg that what bothers conservatives about christie can be summed up in the fact that he's willing to ditch parts of conservatism that are unattractive to the electorate. katie was referring to a branding problem, but this is
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actually a branding triumph for christie. >> it's hilarious to hear a conservative saying chris christie a branding problem. he has an approval rating around 74%. his approval rating among republicans in new jersey is 990% or 94%. it's 80% with conservatives. the conservatives watching his governorship closely and who care about the budget and tax decisions quite like those decisions. really it's the republican party that has a branding problem, the conservative movement that has branding problem, and christie has figured out how to take a conservative message, figure out which parts of it are actually good for the public and eye peeling to the public and sell those and then he's not going to walk over every cliff that the tea party wants you to walk over. he's not going to continue this dead end fight against obama care by rejecting the medicaid expansion. >> or object to relief on hurricane sandy when his constituents desperately need it. >> right. and so he went after john boehner on that and republicans nationally were very upset with him. but republicans in new jersey clearly are not upset.
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>> katie, sarah palin wrote on her facebook page that if something doesn't change, i'm quoting her, we're going to default eventually and that's why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest. now, your cpac panel is called the right view and the real issues. would you consider that to be one of the real issues this nation is facing? the taking by the federal government and stockpiling of bullets? >> you know, i'm not completely familiar with her particular tweet that she posted -- >> it was a facebook posting. >> okay. she likes to fire people up with what she says and it's quite controversial at times. i think i would agree with josh in that the gop as a whole has a branding problem, and the reason i say that christie in particular has a branding problem is that he fits that mold of mccain and romney. if you put yourself in the shoes of a conservative, a young high school student or a college student who is coming to cpac,
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after a colossal loss to obama, they want to get fired up, and to have someone like christie who is perceived as obama's best buddy, it's just not going to fire them up, and he's flip-flopped, which is what mccain and romney have also done. they don't project consistency in their principles, so maybe the people in new jersey like him, but that's not the entire country. i don't think you're going to find people falling all over christie. >> national polling on christie is also very strong and romney is on the agenda at cpac. romney was deemed to be conservative enough and who had a good enough conservative year to be invited. this is the line that al cardenas, the organizer was using. it's like the all-star game and chris christie just wasn't an all-star this year. >> romney was the presidential nominee. it would seem odd not to have him at a conference like this, and christie was welcomed with open arms at cpac chicago which i spoke at as well, and i'll tell you firsthand he did an awesome job there.
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so he will be welcomed back i am sure if he gets back to being more consistent in his principles and is the seen more consistently i think by conservatives overall. >> he needs to become more like i guess mitt romney. >> i guess. or more like sarah palin or alan west -- >> or michele bachmann. >> no no -- >> it's just a sign that conservatives are not interested in winning elections and are not interested in convincing a majority of americans that their agenda is a good one that people should vote for. it's going deeper in the echo chamber, casting out anyone like chris christie who says thing they that sometimes find annoying around that's just a recipe for winning over a smaller and smaller share of the electorate and becoming less and less relevant as a political force. >> josh barrow and katie keifer. thank you both. thank you for joining us. neck, using the undead to market guns to kids. it's as ghoulish as it sounds. stay with us.
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the sale of firearms since that horrendous mass shooting at newtown has actually gone up, but the industry is not sitting on its laurls. it's now aggressively marketing guns to children. some as young as those slaughtered at sandy hook elementary school. it's all chronicled in eerie detail in the current issue of "rolling stone." and tim dickinson's story "the gun industry's deadly addiction." here we see a 10-year-old firing a variety of high-powered guns at so-called zombie targets that ooze synthetic blood when they are hit. it's all part of a wider mission to make shooting more fun, a thrill, like an action adventure ride to rid the world of gooey zombies. and thus more like the entertainment business than the gun business. tim dickinson joins us from san
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francisco. tim, you write about a gun industry that appears to be in panic mode despite an estimated $1.5 billion in sales last year. why would they need to market to children as young as first grade? can you explain that to us, tim? >> the industry is -- has disrupted to a certain extent. the market for traditional hunting guns has fallen off a cliff and the traditional consumer base is sort of like the gop. it's too white, too old, too southern, too male, and so you have both of these trends, and so they're trying to pump up their sales by marketing both lethal weapons to sort of try and sell one last shiny new object to this older generation, but they're also needing to find replacement shooters to borrow a phrase from the tobacco industry, and they are aggressively marketing both to women, to children, to young men who are hooked on video games, trying to break into unconventional demographics. >> tim, we're watching a 10-year-old girl shooting at
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zombie targets. turns out you can pick from a variety of targets, including this one called the "x" created for those who apparently fantasize about killing their ex-wife. and as you watch this video, tim, keep an eye on the shot count in the corner of your scre screen. as macabre as it is it depicts the unimaginable damage these high-capacity magazines can inflict. might it help if the senate judiciary committee were to watch some of this next week when they consider background checks, school safety, and banning assault weapons as a way to protect our children from guns? >> well, i think so. it's a little like joe camel and marketing tobacco to children. what business does a 6-year-old girl have shooting her dad's ar-15? it's like having a whiskey drinking session with your 8-year-old. it doesn't make any sense. these proper ducts for adults that shouldn't be peddled to kids. >> it's not just the weapon itself. it's also the mannequin that is
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three-dimensional and that oozes blood. >> they've cleverly dressed this up in a fad to make shooting at a humanoid object something less than sociopathic. it's a form of entertainment, but, of course, you're training to actually shoot human targets, and they promote this with a hollywood-style video that actually shows a man with his ar-15 and his high capacity pistol shooting up actors. and they sell zombie max ammunition and the box says very specifically it's not a toy, but they're marketing this like a toy. >> just this week, tim, new york city may jor mike bloomberg spent $2 million to help swing an election in chicago where the main issue was gun control. but up against an industry that's literally marketing guns to have kids in primary school, what are the odds that gun control in this nation will ever prevail? >> well, the nra is more
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powerful than the industry itself. the industry, despite having armed america with millions and millions of guns, is actually not that large, and their pockets are not that deep. and so someone like mike bloomberg really can help level the playing field so at least we're debating the issues and not just surrendering to the uncontested fearmongering of the nra. >> and so do you think, tim, that in all the hearings on capitol hill that have been taking place, that people representing the nra have had in mind the fact that they want to extend these weapons of, you know, semiautomatic assault weapons for children to use? and that's what they're concerned about. it's not just the use and sale of these products now, but they're looking into the future and concerned to make sure that we can get as many children as possible to find these guns attractive and, therefore, become purchasers ultimately. >> the broader trend is that these assault weapons and these magazines, these pistols that can carry the high capacity
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magazines, that is the core of the business now. so when joe biden says go out and buy a shotgun, it's a little anachronistic. it's harking for a bygone age. all of these gun control measures go straight into the teeth of how the industry is profiting now and intends to profit in the future, and that's part of why just from a dollars and cents perspective, this is such a thorny battle with the gun industry. >> hence, the reason for having a strong push of semiautomatic weapons because semiautomatic weapons are bigger and you use more ammunition. >> right. and so at 40 cents a pop, you can go through a whole lot offage nition. it's like an expensive printer cartridge. we're seeing the same business practices that are normal everywhere else, they all happen in the gun industry too. >> tim dickonson of "rolling stone" thank you. and you can read tim's remarkable story in the current issue of the magazine. we'll be right back.
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